Following The Blissful Brick Road

by Lance Ekum on · 45 comments

While I'm out of town for a few days, I have Evita Ochel here sharing some of her beautiful writing.  Evita is very wonderful friend and the author of three blogs, including:

Evolving Beings
Evolving Wellness
Evolving Scenes

I've known Evita since early on when I started this site.  In that time, I've come to love and appreciate her deeply thoughtful and introspective soul.  And she's about the kindest and most caring person I know – her heart is filled with a deep and caring compassion.   Much of what she writes about is about getting to our own truths, and connecting with that core within us.  And she does this in a way that feels right and okay, no matter what path our life is on. 

Really, I see this as a special gift she has, in how she can draw upon her experiences, and have her readers take something from that which is deeply meaningful to them.  Evita has a beautiful way of helping us to connect more personally with our own souls.  And that is a great place to visit!

You can keep up with Evita by subscribing to her blog, and following her on Twitter.

Please enjoy the wonderful writing Evita shares in…

Following The Blissful Brick Road

 

California Wildflowers
Creative Commons License photo credit: Rennett Stowe

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls. “ ~ Joseph Campbell
It is not uncommon for any of us to know someone who is doing something that they are not happy doing. In fact, often that someone is us.
 
Millions of people today around the world are doing things that they do not enjoy whether it be job related, relationship related, material related or other.
 
But why do we do it?
 
Why do we do things, and so often, and for so long, that do not bring us joy?
 
Most of us I imagine would say because “we have to” or because “we have no choice”.
 
But think about this for a moment do you really?
 
Do you really think that this magnificent being that you are, who was gifted with free will has no choice?
 
If we step back for a moment and think of ourselves as the physical beings we are right now, and think for a moment what we “really” have to do, it only includes a very small number of things. You have to drink water and eat. You don't even have to breathe, as your system automatically does that for you.
 
Eventually you may want to move, you may want to create. However, if we really dissect life and what we have to do, one can even argue that unlike popular belief, we don't even have to make money. There are numerous people in this world that dedicate themselves to a completely non-materialistic life. Mother Theresa was only one example.
 
So we come back to our question – why do so many of us, do so many things throughout life that do not bring us happiness?
 
Numerous spiritual teachers, such as Neale Donald Walsch or Abraham Hicks over and over tell us that life is supposed to be based on joy, and if it doesn't feel good, don't do it. Yet we do.
 
Could it be that most of us have somehow convinced ourselves that there are things we must do?
 
Could it be that somehow, collectively all of us have spun an illusory web of “musts” that now we hold each other to in society?
 
And could it be that perhaps the things that we most wanted, somehow down the road we end up turning into unpleasant chores?
 
Let's think about it:
 
Your job – you chose it. No matter your education or your financial situation – when you signed that contract, that was you exercising your free will and saying yes. If it stopped bringing you happiness, choose again. There is a sea of choices out there, just allow yourself to look and see them. For those who really feel that they “can't leave” – you still can choose to change your perspective and create your own happiness.
 
Your Mate – you chose them. Unless perhaps you had a pre-arranged marriage, which even then someone can argue there is still choice, you chose your mate. If things changed over the moths or years, you still have choices at every step of the way in how you want to proceed. No one has to be stuck in a relationship that does not bring them happiness, not for money, not for family, not for anything.
 
Your Kids – you chose to have them. Even if they were unplanned, you chose to engage in behavior where the result could have been them. Many of us say we have to do this or that for our kids, but is it really a “have to” or a “want to”? Aren't kids, no matter the age, the most precious gifts we ever chose to give to ourselves? If you stopped seeing that for whatever reason, look at your children again.
 
No matter what, at every step of the way, and every single day we have our free will to choose joy, happiness and bliss, or not.
 
It starts with how you look at things, how you choose to see things, how you communicate, how much love you have for yourself, for your life, others and so much more!
 
I know many of us have fears that hold us back from doing or being what we love, but when we overcome those fears, not even the sky is the limit. In other words your happiness is limitless.
 
I can tell you from personal experience, that the Universe truly does open doors, where we thought there were only walls, when we follow our bliss, trust and learn to let go. I see this in my life on almost a daily basis. Do what you love.
 
There is not a moment to waste. Look at your life today, examine your choices, what are you doing that doesn't bring you happiness? Ask yourself, why are you doing it? How can you change it? How can you start to see it differently?
 
Life is precious. Some would even say “life is short”. Live it with no regrets. The people around you are precious. Don't wait any longer to live a life of bliss.
 
Any situation, even the most grim can be turned around to be a positive one. There are numerous examples of people around us to show us that there is another way – a way to choose bliss no matter what. Take Dan Caro as an example. At the age of 2, Dan was pretty much burned alive. Today with no hands, he is an exceptional drum player who is a triumphant example of how excuses do not have to hold us back from anything and we can choose bliss no matter what!
 
Every day when you wake up, you can choose to step on the road of bliss, live it and spread more to others as you go!
 
What do you choose?
Lance writes stories from his heart, aiming to inspire and motivate, as you align more fully with YOUR true peak. When he's not here, you can find him hanging out with his family, riding a bike, or just generally acting goofy.   Sign up for the Thoughts from the Treehouse newsletter and get additional inspiration in your email inbox!
Lance Ekum
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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

Keith November 18, 2009 at 11:04 am

Hello Evita!

Evita, the more I read the things you write the more I feel like you’re a kindred spirit! I love the quote you used and I am a big fan of Joseph Campbell.

I never cease to be amazed by how dorrs open when you begin to follow your heart, your passion and take heed to that inner voice. Sometimes you achieve what you set out to achieve but it happens in a way you never expected!

I honestly got goosebumps (or as Tess Marshall says “Truth Bumps”) when I was reading this article. The reason is because I have been writing stuff on exactly the same topic! I haven’t published it yet because it is a part of the material I will be using on my new blog that will launch in early 2010. I need to write about and engage more subject matter than is possiblw with my current blog’s focus (I will keep it, but my new blog will be my primary)

We have creative control of our lives and our happiness is dependant upon our choices. I love this statement you made “It starts with how you look at things, how you choose to see things, how you communicate, how much love you have for yourself, for your life, others and so much more!”

Powerful words Evita and I am thankful for people like you that are in the world putting out such truth. I honestly believe it’s people such as yourself , and the force for good that you are, that keeps the world from self-destructing.

Thank You

Hey Lance!! Great job as usual on choosing your guest!!

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Angelia Sims November 18, 2009 at 11:35 am

Evita,

I love this road to BLISS. It took me a long way around to find it, but now I can sure appreciate it, and enjoy it. Years ago, I said on myspace that I would NEVER take life for granted again, and I would choose to live it with joy, after being given a second chance.

I had someone comment, “Did I have a near death experience?”.

Well, no, I didn’t. I was in a bad situation. I lived in fear, in denial, in mind, and not heart. I wasn’t truly me. I just suffered through the unbearable, thinking strength was all I needed. It was a close call. I almost lost my LIFE, and not the physical one, but the one you talk about. The one with true joy, and true living.

Thank you for this awesome post filled with so much we can take in and use to further ourselves and others.

Bravo Lance, for another awesome guest blogger. Enjoy your trip.
.-= Angelia Sims´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Cheshire Kid =-.

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J.D. Meier November 18, 2009 at 12:32 pm

Sometimes it’s as simple as just making your job the way you want it … just doing your job, your way. You just might be surprised what you get away with, and you just might like your own results.
.-= J.D. Meier´s Last Fabulous Post ..Balance Connection and Conviction to Reduce Anxiety and Lead Effectively =-.

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Lynn November 18, 2009 at 12:36 pm

The road to bliss – I’d like to be on that road. Hmmm. Thank you for the positive post.
.-= Lynn´s Last Fabulous Post ..One of these days, 18 no more and singing =-.

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Positively Present November 18, 2009 at 2:16 pm

What a lovely post, Evita! It was great to read this. I feel so inspired now!! 🙂
.-= Positively Present´s Last Fabulous Post ..living life with purpose =-.

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Liara Covert November 18, 2009 at 2:23 pm

To love and accept everything you are and everything everyone else is comes naturally to anyone who geos with the flow. Evita is such an inspiration! Her writing invites each person to gently open up to get-to-know the true self, to come to terms with fears and other imagined obstacles. She is a blessing!
.-= Liara Covert´s Last Fabulous Post ..What do you misunderstand? =-.

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Extreme Fitness Blog November 18, 2009 at 2:56 pm

What a powerful and inspiration post, Evita! Thanks for sharing this breath of fresh air!
.-= Extreme Fitness Blog´s Last Fabulous Post ..Backyard Garden: Aphids Attack! =-.

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Adventures of the Fearless November 18, 2009 at 3:57 pm

Hey Evita. .wonderful post and very inspiring

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Mindful Mimi November 18, 2009 at 3:59 pm

Evita,
You don’t know how spot on you are. When I had my kids, my priorities started to shift. Happiness, joy, fun moved way up the importance ladder. And they did not happen at work. So I looked elsewhere, but the grass was not greener. So I made it greener where I was by changing my attitude, by introducing things I like to my colleagues (creative workshops), by starting a charity project which has just been approved by the management etc. And since then: I am happy. I have bliss. Not every day to the extend that I want. But it’s growing. I planted it, I tend to it, I grow it. I am responsible for my own happiness. My attitude, my feelings create it like my hands create my art.
Thanks for sharing.
.-= Mindful Mimi´s Last Fabulous Post ..Sunday laugh =-.

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Julie November 18, 2009 at 6:10 pm

To those who’ve not yet subscribed to any one of Evita’s blog feeds, you’re forfeiting a special gift you could be giving yourself. She’ll open doors you hadn’t realized existed. 🙂

Evita, your shining, caring enthusiasm never wanes, and here, again, you explain how the choice is always ours, no matter what the topic. It is always a case of “the buck stops here.” We create our worlds and our worlds begin within. It’s all a circle of our own making: How we think determines how we feel which results in a behavior that creates a tangible something-or-other which we then will think on… To spin off of one circle of creation and onto another, we simply change what we think. 🙂
.-= Julie´s Last Fabulous Post ..More in Love Than Usual: Celebrating Fall =-.

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Tess The Bold Life November 18, 2009 at 9:29 pm

Evita,
Wow I just watched the Dan Caro video. I don’t think we ever know what anything is for but I do know Dan used his accident to help anyone who is sitting on the fence full of fear! What a perfect match him, Wayne Dyer and “no excuses.” Thanks for introducing me to him.

And I’ll be looking at anything in my life that’s not bringing me happiness and deciding what to do about it and taking action! xo
.-= Tess The Bold Life´s Last Fabulous Post ..Interview Online Counselor Zeenat Merchant-Syal =-.

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Stacey Shipman November 19, 2009 at 7:55 am

I have learned it’s about conditioning, beliefs, should’s, and how we feel about ourselves. For me I had to heal old wounds that I never dealt with before I could travel a blissful path. And a blissful path doesn’t necessarily mean happiness all the time! I have the tools I need to feel everything (the good, the bad and the ugly) and eventually move on towards brighter days. That is the beauty of life. We can choose if we’re open to the possibilities.

Couple of things struck me because I think about them a lot:

We don’t really need money
It’s how we feel about ourselves – Bliss has to begin there. Absolutely.

Great guest post, Lance. And thanks, Evita!

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suzen November 19, 2009 at 8:07 am

Hi Evita and Lance!
Magnificent post! I’ve long been a fan of Campbell, Walsh, Dyer and all the wonderful teachers out there. You’re so right, we have free will. We are free to make choices. You can choose an attitude or outlook, mindset, whatever, as easily as putting on your shoes. And those shoes really determine how your walk is going to go for that day! I don’t understand why we as humans, cannot seem to accept the simple things the teachers try to tell us about living our lives and finding bliss! Thank you so much for putting this out there! This is beautifully written and expressed!

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Lisis November 19, 2009 at 8:42 am

Beautifully put, Evita! No matter what the circumstances, we always get to choose our attitude about them. This was one lesson I learned early on from Victor Frankl’s Man’s Search For Meaning, and it has changed my life. We always have a choice. 🙂
.-= Lisis´s Last Fabulous Post ..Mental Illness: The Sun Also Rises… Barely =-.

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Nadia - Happy Lotus November 19, 2009 at 9:20 am

Hi Evita,

Great post. I am all for bliss. 🙂

Life is all about attitude. We always have a choice as to how we handle a situation. No matter how bad things have gotten in my life, I always knew that it was not going to last forever and that there was a way out. I did not always know the way out but since I was so convinced, I always managed to find a solution. The Universe is merciful and the key is to be true to the moment. None of us are perfect and each experience provides us with insight as to how to proceed.
.-= Nadia – Happy Lotus´s Last Fabulous Post ..Vampires, Investments and Love =-.

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Srinivas Rao November 19, 2009 at 9:28 am

Evita,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on living a life of bliss. I think you hit on one thing that many people don’t ever realize which is that everything in your life is a choice. We have the ability to make decisions about anything and everything and that’s one great thing about life. We have far more control over it than we realize. Control means responsibility and that’s actually more terrifying for some people than blaming it on circumstances.
.-= Srinivas Rao´s Last Fabulous Post ..Sooner is better, but it’s never too late =-.

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Karl Staib - Work Happy Now November 19, 2009 at 10:13 am

We do have choices. When we stop believing we have choices is when we get angry and frustrated. We choose to work at a job we don’t like. This one resonated with me (of course :)) because of my background.

We really can create the career that we want, but it means not settling. We have to keep building and trying to create the life that will meet our needs.

The hard part really is figuring out our needs. I’m surprised by how I think a certain job or object will make me happy, but it doesn’t. I thought I knew what I needed, but when it really came down to it I was wrong.

We need to keep exploring who we are and as we learn more, we can make ourselves happier.
.-= Karl Staib – Work Happy Now´s Last Fabulous Post ..Be One With Your Work =-.

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Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord November 19, 2009 at 11:12 am

Hi, Evita! I love what you said in this post, and yet I also know from personal experience that fear has gotten the best of me on many occasions. The “what ifs” and unknowns can be paralyzing in these human bodies of ours, yes?
I’ve found that it helps to have a great support group – people who “have my back” when I’m venturing into unknown waters. Without good support, I tend to stick with what I know. It’s how I’m wired and how I’ve reinforced that wiring over many, many years of habituated action.
On the other hand, I do believe that the Universe is always willing to have my back… That, however, involves really stepping outside of this human existence and having fearless faith. Fearless faith does yield incredible – some would say miraculous – results, though.
So much to ponder here! Sending joy and love your way, and many thanks for a great read.
.-= Megan “JoyGirl!” Bord´s Last Fabulous Post ..Read. LAUGH! Repeat. =-.

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Diane November 19, 2009 at 11:29 am

Hi Evita!

Live within creation and creation will help you along!

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Evita November 19, 2009 at 11:53 am

@ KEITH – Hi Keith – I am a little speechless to start after having read your comment, as I literally had such a strong feeling of joy within me and gratitude for all that you said. I am very excited to read what you have written on this subject and greatly look forward to your new blog.
Thank you, and thank you again for all that you said, it really touched my heart very deeply.

@ ANGELIA – Hello Angelia – How wonderful to “meet” you and share in your story. Thank you for that. I am so happy for you that you have found that road of bliss for yourself and are enjoying the life you are living. That is the best part, no two of our roads are the same, yet we can all be on the road of bliss. Many continued blessings to you!

@ J.D. – Hi J.D. – That is very well said. It reminds me of Dr. Wayne Dyer’s words…”when we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.” We can own our experiences and transform any situation.

@ LYNN – Hi Lynn – If you feel called to do so, I invite you to take some time and really look at your self, your life, your surroundings to examine how to have a state of being that you will really enjoy – that really is what the blissful road is all about. Be open and honest with yourself about what resonates with who you really are, and what doesn’t. And the best way to tell, is to see how you FEEL. When you think about things as you reflect on them – whether the people, places or things in your life – if they feel good, think of how you can have more of those. If they feel bad, think about why you choose to keep or have those moments a part of your life. Is it about removing them from your life, or perhaps just changing your view or perspective about them.

Ultimately there is no one, right, magic formula – there is just you and how you can have a state of being that is rooted in joy, happiness and bliss. May you find exactly what it is that you desire.

@ POSITIVELY PRESENT – Hi and thank you so much for taking the time to read it! Great to hear that you enjoyed it 🙂

@ LIARA – Hello Liara – What a beautiful comment. I feel so humbled by your words – thank you so much. I have definitely found that for myself in terms of “going with the flow”. Some people may misunderstand this and think that one is not an active participant in their own life and just allows things “to happen to them”. But that is not at all what is meant by this idea. It is about not resisting, not pushing against. It is about seeing the beauty and perfection in the all and understanding that every moment carries with it a message for us. What do we end up taking from it? What do we end up choosing in the end? These are all deeply profound thoughts that I invite us all to ponder from time to time, as it is easy at times to get sucked back into the “rut” of how life seems to be for many in today’s society. Thank you again for your thoughts.

@ EXTREME FITNESS BLOG – Hi and thank you for stopping by to read it! It is really my pleasure to spread joy and happiness with others, as I know that it is possible, no matter what 🙂

@ ADVENTURES OF THE FEARLESS – Hello and thank you! Glad to hear you enjoyed it.

@ MINDFUL MIMI – Hello Mimi – What a wonderful story! Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. You said something so important as well….you planted the seeds, you tend to it and watch it grow!!! That is it! That is so wonderful to recognize and live out Mimi. I think some people get discouraged by a lot in life when things don’t happen NOW. This is when I always invite people to look at nature. The biggest and perhaps most beautiful of plants did not spring up over night. That is why align yourself with your own “road of bliss” and then enjoy the journey 🙂
By being accountable, by changing the way you look at things and being responsible for our own happiness is definitely the surest way to enjoy this road to the fullest!
.-= Evita´s Last Fabulous Post ..5 Evolving Bloggers Who Have Touched My Life – 2 =-.

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Evita November 19, 2009 at 12:23 pm

@ JULIE – Hello Julie! You always honor me with your words Julie – how can I ever thank you!!! Just know that my appreciation for you, our friendship and your amazing mind and being is so profound.

Happiness does lie in our own hands, no one and nothing can bring it to us, unless we allow it and bring it to ourselves. I love when you said “How we think determines how we feel…” – it really does. More and more people are realizing this and hence stepping out of the tunnels of struggles and frustration and stepping onto their own beautiful roads of bliss.

@ TESS – Hi Tess! Wonderful to share in your thoughts here and I love your action oriented attitude. I really think that unless we get serious and put our thoughts into action, they will remain nothing but “thoughts”.

This is another thing I always encourage people to do. If you hear, read, learn something that really resonates with you, use that moment when you are at perhaps the point of greatest inspiration to make changes. Don’t wait. The moment fades and you stay right back where you are. So good for you Tess and thanks again for your comment!

@ STACEY – Hi Stacey and thank you for sharing your experience about your journey. Everyday we have so many opportunities before us, some we like, some we may not. And that is part of being on this road as you say, it may not always be “perfect”. But being on it, we recognize those things that don’t serve us and work with them to evolve ourselves to a greater state of being. At every moment we have choices to continue on this road, or get off. Ultimately and always the choice is ours.

@ SUZEN – Hi Suzen – Thank you so much for expressing your thoughts on this topic. I have to so agree about how we as humans cannot seem to take the simple advice and enjoy life. There are so many amazing teachers around us now, more material than perhaps ever before to stimulate us to be the happiest, most successful, peaceful beings. And clearly not everyone is there…why…Again it comes down to choice. We can make things as complicated, drama filled and negative for as long as we want or need to. There is an easier way, but I have also come to respect that some people need those experiences to evolve to their next highest state of being. This is why I can “try” to help people, encourage people or inspire, but as always the choice is theirs as to how they choose to see or take things, and what actions they take if any.

@ LISIS – Hello Lisis and thank you so much! Viktor’s work has definitely given me a jolt of awakening when it comes to this topic as well. I came to realize that there can be beauty in every situation – the question only remains of whether we choose to see it or not. And if we should do so, wow can our levels of empowerment ever soar. I think one really gets to a point where they realize nothing can break them, as there is perfection in all that happens and we as beings work with those moments, not against them to become the highest versions of all that we can be.

@ NADIA – Hi Nadia and thanks for your thoughts on this subject. Yes indeed every situation can be a marker as to how to proceed, and can serve to further our growth. The only thing we have to remember is not to get “stuck” in any of those situations that may not be “serving us” and that is where I love that you pointed out that even those less than blissful moments do not last.

@ SRINIVAS – Hello Srinivas and thank you so much for adding in your insight about this topic. I definitely feel strongly about personal accountability because I realized in my own personal life that when I took control and realized that I am responsible for my well being, whether it be my health or happiness, my life changed completely. All of a sudden fear began to lift and I knew that my choices were shaping my life. Thus today, I love it and would not want to go back to live a life of “circumstance” – that to me is more frightening than anything else….leaving my well being in the hands of another. I really believe the sooner we realize that our life is a result of our thoughts and actions, the sooner we get to start shaping and living the life of our dreams 🙂

@ KARL – Hi Karl, you bet! I loved that you added this in about exploring our life, ourselves and our options because life is really an ongoing journey. We don’t get to a point where we think we got it all or know it all and stop. Well, we can, but this is where I find people build up a lot of anger and frustration. Our being wants to grow and expand, and following our emotional guidance system can definitely tell us if we are moving in a direction that benefits us or not. Thanks for your input, that was awesome! And work happiness is such a big part of this topic, as this is where a lot of people spend most of their life.

@ MEGAN – Hi Megan – Thank you for including your awesome thoughts Megan! I can totally agree with you about how fear can be paralyzing, and I know from personal experience that unless I took that quote from Joseph Campbell to heart, that unless I infused that “fearless faith” within me – I would not be where I am today in every respect.

And you know what is interesting and kind of funny…that looking back I don’t fear anymore the unknown because I know that I still get to choose how I act or react to every situation that may come my way. I find this the more empowering and sure way to live, versus the old way I used to live where I thought “others” pulled the strings of my life and hence decided my happiness and well being. Now that was scary when I think about it now, to leave our happiness in the hands of others.
.-= Evita´s Last Fabulous Post ..5 Evolving Bloggers Who Have Touched My Life – 2 =-.

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Wilma Ham November 19, 2009 at 4:09 pm

Hi Evita and Lance

You can only move forward when you move from a postive place and not because you do not love where or what you are right now.
THAT has taken me a long time to really understand.
I took me also a long time to understand how come that I had to love and accept ‘what is so’ right now, before gracefully moving on.
It is all about traveling light, when you have not completed with the moment you are in, the past will always put the brakes on.
Once free from judgment, knowing what actions to take is not hard and I move fast with the flow.
Love Wilma.

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Evita November 19, 2009 at 6:09 pm

@ DIANE – Hello Diane and thank you for including that wonderful thought here!

@ WILMA – Hi Wilma – Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with your own personal journey. Once we do see things in a new light, it definitely opens up a whole new area of possibilities from which we can decide and move through life from.
.-= Evita´s Last Fabulous Post ..5 Evolving Bloggers Who Have Touched My Life – 2 =-.

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Amanda Linehan November 19, 2009 at 6:33 pm

Hello Evita and Lance – Great quote! One of my favorites. Even if you feel that there are some things you have to do right now that you don’t necessarily want to do. You can still take steps to follow your bliss by doing small things every day that you love. These things tend to grow from there. Thanks!
.-= Amanda Linehan´s Last Fabulous Post ..100 Posts =-.

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happymaker November 19, 2009 at 6:36 pm

Love the way you write. What gets to me is all these people out there complaining and it is there choice that got them were they are. Learning to take responsibility for yourself is going to get one to find happiness sooner. “Stop blaming and start learning”, I say
Debbie

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Evelyn Lim November 19, 2009 at 9:48 pm

Evita, I love your site. We share so many similar interests. I have found works by Neale Donald Walsch and Abraham Hicks inspiring to the point of life-changing. As you’ve correctly pointed out, I have chosen to have a number of people and work in my life. It is not about changing others or being in a state of conflict or struggle. I now choose to be in harmony, peace and joy with what is important to me.
.-= Evelyn Lim´s Last Fabulous Post ..Feed has moved =-.

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Jodi at Joy Discovered November 19, 2009 at 10:11 pm

Hi Evita,
Great post. I like your way of stretching our thinking and making us see past our “must do’s” and “have to’s”. Bliss is ours for the taking. Thank you for the refreshing reminder that if I’m not feeling it lately, it’s up to me to make the changes to get back to it.
.-= Jodi at Joy Discovered´s Last Fabulous Post ..Forgiveness, Letting Go, and Freedom =-.

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Lance November 20, 2009 at 7:39 am

Evita,
It’s so great having you here, and sharing your deeply wonderful thoughts on a life of bliss. What’s so great is that you not only are saying all of this, I KNOW you are living it as well. You have made conscious choices to follow that blissful brick road toward your sunset, and it’s amazing to watch it all unfold for you!

The message you’ve shared here is something we can all get something from, as it is our life that each of us lives…and how are we choosing to live that life? What choices are we making on our own journey’s through life?

Evita, it’s a wonderful gift for me to have you here. Thank you for writing, always, from a spot deep within your heart, and for your continued friendship and caring support. You are a light out into our world…into my world…

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Hanlie November 20, 2009 at 8:06 am

What a wonderful tribute to Evita, Lance! She is all that and more.

Evita, this is part of what I’ve been working on these last few months… realizing that I have a choice and then carrying that realization through to every area of my life. All my life I’ve felt unacceptable and recently it dawned on me that, as much as my husband loves me, and he does, what really matters is the love I give myself. A few days ago I started choosing to love myself EVERY moment of the day. I literally have to ask myself hundreds of times per day, “Is this a loving thought, choice, behavior, or is this a way for me to harm or sabotage myself?” I’m teaching myself to treat myself with respect, dignity, love and compassion and I believe that it will turn my life around. For now, I have to coach myself as one would a child, but that’s okay. I’m definitely making progress, in fact, some of my habits (like my endless picking at my skin) have already disappeared and it’s only been days.

As you say, life is short, but when you’re imprisoned in your own limitations and negative beliefs, it can seem interminably long! From now on I’m aiming for a precious life!

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Joy November 20, 2009 at 9:14 am

Evita,
I absolutely love the quote–wow!
For a long time, I remained in situations that were joyless because they were comfortable. They weren’t terrible, yet my heart wasn’t full. I didn’t want to “go against the grain” or make waves. Yet throughout my life that only lasts for so long, because I know how fulfilling it is to be passionate in all areas and to engage that passion; I inevitably follow my heart and experience quite amazing enriching things. And that enables me to be so full of life and energy that I have much to share with those around me, which greatly pleases me. If life feels “stale” that is my sign that I have relaxed somewhere I know I shoudl be challenging myself in. And to clarify, comfortable is an awesome feeling–in this case I refer to comfortable more as stagnant and unchanging and safe.

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Evita November 20, 2009 at 10:18 am

@ AMANDA – Hi Amanda – That quote is one of my favorites too, and one of the reasons that I listened so much to my inner being and trusted that all would work out well when I left my steady career and ventured into the world of working for oneself. There have been opportunities everywhere and I truly believe it is all because I followed my bliss.

@ HAPPYMAKER – Hello Debbie – Thank you so much and I feel the same as you. Any complaints we make we choose to make them. At every moment we have a choice to change the circumstance or change the way we think about it. Learning is definitely empowering and it is about taking steps towards that, that we free ourselves from the obstacles and fear of not knowing and being stuck in a place where we don’t want to be.

@ EVELYN – Hi Evelyn and thank you so much for the feedback! You bring up a great point about choosing those things in your life….we really all did, and it does not help us to push against them or resist them. There are many things we can do to change our circumstances – at every point we can make a new choice that brings us closer or further away from a state of bliss.

@ JODI – Hi Jodi – Thank you so much for the comment and feedback. Indeed we can get back to a state where we feel the happiest, but yes it does take some conscious effort to realize that we can and make choices according to that. Great to hear from you here Jodi!

@ LANCE – Hello Lance – It is such a pleasure to be here, thank you so much for inviting me and I am honored to be a host on your site this week!

Thank you also so very much for the beautiful words. It is wonderful that you see that in my life indeed Lance, as I really do live that state. Whether in the old days when I used to teach in a classroom or today, I I walk my own talk. In fact today I cannot imagine it any other way. I have been up and down on the roller coaster of life and very early on in my life I decided to get off. I realized that the ups and downs of life, the dramas and the struggles were not for me. I realized and learned that there is another way, a more peace and happiness filled way. Some major awakening had to take place, some major re-arranging of old thoughts and paradigms. Of course this is an ongoing journey and there is still lots to learn, but I love where I am and it just keeps getting better. I feel blessed to live it and it is such a gift and blessing to be able to share it with others. Life can be amazing, and I hope to inspire as many people as I can to see that and live their own life of bliss. I have been “there” and I have been “here” and although there is no one right answer for everyone, for me “here” is definitely better.

I value your friendship a lot and again thank you for having me here and also for sharing with you in your life’s journey!

@ JOY- Hello Joy and thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and experiences. You said it so well when you explained that “comfortable” state. Sometimes I think many people don’t even realize how happy they can be, because they get into that state and think this is as good as it gets. But when we look within, especially at our heart as you say, it tells a different story. How wonderful that you are living out your own state of bliss by exploring the passions of life!

@
.-= Evita´s Last Fabulous Post ..Following the Blissful Brick Road =-.

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Cath Lawson November 20, 2009 at 5:34 pm

Hi Evita – this is brilliant advice – I wish I’d read it 20 years ago. I was stuck in a bad relationship for years – I guess I just didn’t have the courage to live. Also, I suppose I worried about the reactions of people around me if I left. My parents were married young and they are not too keen on divorce. Aside from that – I was worried because house prices are fallen and I thought we might not be able to cover the mortgage if we sold.

Looking back – my thinking was silly. I left the relationship over 5 years ago. It was hard and I was scared but I’m so much happier now. And I would advise anyone to get out of a situation they’re not happy in. Sometimes the barriers seem higher than they are but it’s much easier once you push through them.

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Bern ~ Walking in Stillness November 20, 2009 at 8:43 pm

Hi my beautiful friend, Evita,

I see that some people are addicted to suffering, because through acting out, they get the kind of attention that they think they need to momentarily fill them selves up with. Many people just don’t know what it is like to live outside of a box, so why leave the box or the circle that they have cemented themselves to. Some have even forgotten that anything else exists. Options need to be shown and provided. Firstly, we need to stop responding to an individual’s negative tendencies and to notice and see the spark in an individual and to lure it out into a comfortable and safe environment, thereby opening one’s self up to new world of exploration. People should travel and see the releativity of the world and how there are infinite ways to do something, thereby, loosening up one’s rigid perspective.

For some reason, the idea of contracts came to my mind today, and then you mentioned them here on your post. So I feel compelled to share. It is said that we have a contract that we make before coming to earth. Now to me, I believe that contracts limit the individual, and so I thought why would we have a contract. Well, a contract, is a contraction in the energetic body. It creates blocks and attachments within the physcial world. The blocks even create tensions in our physical bodies and within our minds. So the contract is in actuallity our energy bodies that provides us with a unique perspective upon the world. They are blueprints because the density of the blockages, or the contractions, attract or magnitize certain issues to appear before us. Like attracts Like. Therefore, we get a reflection of our behavior till we get sick from our behaviour, and feel compelled to transcend that behaviour. So the contract is meant to become uncontracted. Therefore, If the general public learns that we can find peace through alleviating personal tensions, we can all begin changing our selves, and therefore the world. We can re-negotiate our contracts by paying attention to that which makes us tense. The tension can be unwound to openness. Soon, there is no more contract to abide, and no rules to follow. All we are left with is an open Heart, and a Soul to feel the Life that is Presented to Us.
.-= Bern ~ Walking in Stillness´s Last Fabulous Post ..Cartoon Dreams =-.

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Jannie Funster November 20, 2009 at 9:30 pm

Letting things go has been a major life changer for me. Letting go of physical items that no longer serve me. Letting go of relationships that have run their course. Letting go of feelings, just sit and observe them, not attach too much weight to them.

Yes, bliss is always there any time of the day or night. Just a thought away.

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Jannie Funster November 20, 2009 at 9:31 pm

Correct URL this time. 🙂
.-= Jannie Funster´s Last Fabulous Post ..Bag Children At The Park =-.

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Barbara Swafford November 21, 2009 at 2:41 am

Hi Eviata,

I love that you brought up “choices”. That was something we taught our kids. All of our choices have a consequence – good or bad. Take your pick. Although we can and do learn from making the wrong ones, we soon find out if we put some thought into our choices, we can almost predict the outcome. Ironically our kids are now teaching our grandchildren the same thing. It warms my heart to see that happening. 🙂
.-= Barbara Swafford´s Last Fabulous Post ..What Does Your Blog Say About You =-.

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Tim November 21, 2009 at 8:14 am

Hi Evita:

Thanks for this post…it is a great reminder about how much choice we do have despite the feeling that we sometimes don’t have any choice. I also think that we humans are creatures of habit and that we continue with these habits even if they don’t make us happy or are not good for us. Thanks for getting me thinking today and thank you to Lance for introducing me to Evita.
.-= Tim´s Last Fabulous Post ..Crushing It in Chicago With Gary Vaynerchuk =-.

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Evita November 21, 2009 at 3:45 pm

@ HANLIE – Hi Hanlie and what a treat to see you here! Thank you so much for coming over to read my article here on Lance’s awesome site!

I have to agree Hanlie, no matter what another gives us, it is first and foremost important what we give to ourselves. A spouse can be and say all the right things, but if we don’t hold ourselves to the highest love possible, we actually do not allow that love to come in from them, and hence it seems no matter what they do it fells like “not enough”.

I am so thrilled for you that you have decided to embark on your own journey of healing and self-renewal. I truly believe when we go within, one by one all the external things begin to make sense and life takes on a whole new meaning. I am delighted to share in your journey with you!

@ CATH – Hi Cath – that is such valuable advice! Thank you so much for sharing your experience.

You know for the longest time I felt the same way about relationships and divorces. I too was raised in a family where divorce was just “wrong”. As a young girl, it seemed like one of the worst things that can happen to a person. And then I grew up and learned, and awoke (a lot!) and today I realize that there is no rhyme or reason to judge or prevent someone from being free or fully happy. Yes, we make choices, but people change – we are allowed to do that, we evolve and become new people. And that is okay. This is why a particular home, spouse, job that served us at one point, may not serve our growth or being at another point. I am not for an easy way in or out, just an understanding that we are evolving creatures, and although sometimes our choices are made with the best of intentions – as we change they simply might not serve our growth any longer. Thanks again for your input!

@ BERNIE – Hi Bernie and thank you too so much for coming over to Lance’s site here to share in what I wrote.

I cannot agree with you more about people being “addicted” to pain or drama. I have seen it vividly in a few close people around me for years now, and the “sad” part is there is nothing one can do to change it, until that person decides to change it themselves. The victim role seems to be a popular one in our society.
It is only when we step away from that role, when we break free and realize that there is another way, that we do not have to suffer and that it is much easier to live a happy life, that we begin to really live.

I too have heard of contracts – i.e. the ones we make before we come through in each physical life time and although some aspects of this make sense to me, I was always confused as to what happens when one is done with a lesson or role…and here you explained that beautifully! Thank you Bernie – as always you shed this amazing light of wisdom on yet another topic close to me.

@ JANNIE – Hi Jannie and how wonderful to see you here! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this post of mine.

Letting go does seem hard or scary at times, but I feel it is integral to take on new levels of growth and awareness. We can watch the trees in the fall for a great example, they build up these amazing crowns of beautiful leaves all year, only to let go of them all in the fall. But this is necessary for the new growth in the spring, and so it is with us.

@ BARBARA – Hello Barbara and thank you so much for your wise and loving comment. How beautiful that you taught that to your children and can see the wonderful results being reaped today in yet another generation.

You are so right, when we learn to put some thought in our choices, we can predict the outcome often and very closely. This is where I teach people that conscious words, thoughts and actions make all the difference between an easy life of happiness or pain and struggle. Thank you for sharing that beautiful story!

@ TIM – Hi Tim and so great to “meet” you here! You are so right, we are creatures of habit, so often it is easier to do the same thing that does not serve us, instead of trying a new thing that would serve us better.

Fear as I mentioned has a lot to do with it. But once we get through that fear, and venture into new territory most people realize that they do not have to be tied to a life of pain. We do have choices, and we can exercise them at every moment. We just have to be willing to do so. Thanks again for your comment!
.-= Evita´s Last Fabulous Post ..Essential Energy: Beyond the Golden Rule =-.

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Laurie November 21, 2009 at 9:24 pm

Happiness and joy are different things. Not every choice I make is intended to bring me happiness or bliss. Some choices I make are made because it is the right thing to do. For example, if I were raped and became pregnant, I would choose to carry the baby to term. That decision would not bring me happiness, bliss or I dare say, even joy but it would be the right thing for me to do because I feel the sacrifice I would be making is worth giving an innocent child a chance to live it’s life.

There are many around the world that are persecuted for their faith. Choosing to not abandon their faith can cost them their freedom or even life, depending on the society they live in. Yet they are choosing persecution because they value their faith more their their happiness.

I agree that much of the time, we can find happiness, even in difficult times. It is more a choice in itself. Attitude is vital, I agree. I just felt it was made to seem too easy here. Sometimes life is really difficult. Sometimes, happiness and bliss must be set aside for a greater good. I don’t agree with “If it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it.” Exercise doesn’t feel good, yet I do it.

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jan November 21, 2009 at 9:41 pm

Hello Evita,
What a wonderful and powerful post. I am a huge fan of choice, no matter what. No excuses. Truly. Even if I didn’t consciously choose to bring something into my life (which I don’t believe we do choose EVERYTHING), I can choose how to respond to it. To me, that is the ticket. Whenever something happens, I can choose to “react” or “respond.” These days I choose to respond. In that, mental happiness is mine. Blessings to you!

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Sami - Life, Laughs & Lemmings November 22, 2009 at 4:22 pm

Hi Evita, thanks for the thought provoking post. I’ve been actively following my bliss and while it’s still a work in progress, I’ve come a long way.
.-= Sami – Life, Laughs & Lemmings´s Last Fabulous Post ..Kick Arse Question – A Smile a Day =-.

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Evita November 23, 2009 at 9:30 am

@ LAURIE – Hello Laurie and thank you for sharing your thoughts on this topic, they are so much appreciated!

Laurie if I may offer another way to look at this situation in terms of what you mention…I am going to ask some questions, please just take it as an alternate view, as in no way am I trying to change your thoughts on this. We all have to pick what makes sense to us.

When you say “Not every choice I make is intended to bring me happiness or bliss.” … the first thing that pops into my head is “why not?” If you don’t enjoy the exercise you do, pick another form of exercise that you will enjoy. I don’t enjoy going to the gym for example, but it doesn’t mean I don’t stay active. I simply find other more enjoyable ways to stay active. The Universe provides us with so many choices and so many ways to express ourselves. There is beauty in diversity and I believe there is a choice for everyone out there with which they can be really happy or blissful about.

When it comes to “right” and “wrong” Laurie, please believe me when I say I was there. I was brought up in a very religious home and clearly knew what was right and what was wrong. Except then, as I grew up and as I learned more about the world, humanity and history I realized that not only has “right” and “wrong” changed so much over the history of time, but it is so relative. One person may win the lottery and for them it is a blessing and for another a curse. One person may get a serious disease and think it is a disaster, where as another experiences a spiritual awakening because of it and considers it the best thing that ever happened to them.

When it comes to the example you mention about being raped and getting pregnant. If you think that the right thing to do is keep the pregnancy and thus the child, that is still your choice to make that call as being “the right thing to do”. There are many people who feel that being “pro-choice” is the right thing to do. How can we as loving humans make one of us right and saintly, and the other wrong and evil? We should not be here to judge each other’s choices. A loving God doesn’t even judge us, it is the human component of judgment that has been enforced on so many. What is “right” and “wrong” has to be what is right and wrong for YOU, not for society or anyone else. Because as I mentioned for every decision that one thinks is right, there is someone else, who will prove it wrong or vice-versa.

One thing I learned is that if we make decisions because that is what our family, society, government or religion told us is “right” – we will never be truly happy. Most humans when left to their own devices DO choose their highest version. We are after all beings of love. But we cannot judge how we each express that love, for as I mentioned what is right for one person, may be wrong for another.

I would also consider this: let’s say the person who gets raped and pregnant hates their situation but feels it is the “right thing to do” to have the child. Is it really fair for that child to be brought into the world with its beginnings in such a painful environment, where the mother may forever be resentful of the situation, and upset by it, hating it? Looking at that child as a product of a situation that disgusts her? Consciously we may try to love that child, but our subconscious, and much more powerful mind may prove otherwise in our thoughts and actions from then on towards the child.

If one considers the birth of a child a blessing, a gift or miracle, and if one chooses to experience that birth than I would have to say, take on that decision with bliss and joy! Do it because it feels right to you, not because someone in society made you do it or disapproves of our choice (whatever that choice may be).

Laurie, again I value your comment and thoughts so much because they allow all of us here to grow and probe further into a situation that is not a clear cut or easy thing in many ways. But to me, I was “there” – I explored the idea of martyrdom, I explored the decisions and choices of the major world religions, and I thought life was hard, really hard at times in fact. Today however, because I chose to look at things differently (in no way better or worse) just differently, I began to see the world and life differently. Today I don’t think life is hard anymore, and our happiness really can be that easy. But it will only happen if we free ourselves from the confines of others. When we start living life from our highest state, not someone elses, all decisions seem to flow easier. Nothing anymore is a “disaster” or “tragedy” – everything can be a beautiful opportunity that brings out an even higher state of ourselves.

Again this is my view, my truth and what works for me – I have found bliss and if I can inspire or encourage someone to find theirs than I love to help, but I will never push my ideas on someone else. We all have to find peace in our choices, and I respect yours.

@ JAN – Hi Jan and thank you so much for taking the time to read what I have written here. Your feedback and thoughts are very much appreciated.

For a long time in life, I did not realize how much choice we had. I like most people thought that life happens to most of us, in some predetermined way – a way where we really had no control over our circumstances. And then as I learned and grew, it was perhaps the biggest “aha” moment of my life. We do have choice, even if not about a specific situation happening, about how we respond or react to it – exactly as you say. This is also why today I know that no matter, and I do mean no matter what happens I will be okay. Nothing is a tragedy unless I make it.

Thank you again for your comment and many blessings to you as well.

@ SAMI – Hi Sami – that is wonderful to hear. I think for many of us, it will always (in some ways) be a work in progress as life presents us with so many wonderful opportunities to encourage our further growth.

So many blessings, happiness and bliss to you as you continue on your journey!
.-= Evita´s Last Fabulous Post ..Essential Energy with Cyndi Dale: Beyond the Golden Rule =-.

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Laurie November 23, 2009 at 9:58 am

@Evita- Wow, you took some time with your response. I have to say, I don’t even know where to begin expect to say, God does judge, and there are things in life that are not relative. Some things are right and others wrong. To smear the line is to make mashed potatoes of truth. Because someone says a red balloon is blue, doesn’t change the fact that the balloon is really red.

You said, “Is it really fair for that child to be brought into the world with its beginnings in such a painful environment, where the mother may forever be resentful of the situation, and upset by it, hating it? Looking at that child as a product of a situation that disgusts her? ”
The bigger tragedy would be to extinguish a life that made no decisions to exist but is being killed to convenience another. There are more options, such as adoption, that would prevent the scenario you described.

What if my pursuit of happiness infringes on your pursuit? Who wins? What if my pursuit of happiness involves me snatching some money out of your purse or molesting your child? Should I go for it?

All I was attempting to say in my response was that ,yes, we need to live from our authentic self and go for it in life. But I felt that the post made it sound way too simple. There are times when personal responsibility and what is morally right (or at least legally) needs to take precedence. One of the things that is necessary for us to be grown up in life is to have the ability to delay gratification and make some choses that take bliss out of the equation. (Maybe that is why teenagers are involved in more car wrecks) Without that ability, all hell breaks loose.

I do respect your comments, but I cannot agree with the idea of it being that simple. I have had to work through some things in life that were very hard and brought me much pain but it was the right thing to do and in the end, was not only healthier for me physically and emotionally but for my family as well. They mean more to me than bliss. Now, through hard work and pain, we are great. BUT at the time, I chose the pain over happiness for the great good.

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